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Like it or not, fiction it ain't
mreed6 January 2000
Okay, so I have come a long way from Houston by now, but whenever I see this movie, I am taken back to a little cowgirl's dream to one day ride the bull at Gilley's. (It burned down before I was of drinking age.)

If you grew up in in East Texas, then you know this movie is an accurate depiction of contemporary life at that time. If you didn't then trust me and watch the movie. Either you will join the many who love it (and at the same time strangely repulsed), or at the very least, you can make fun of the red-necks. (There is plenty material for poking fun.) This movie doesn't try to be P.C. (what was that in the 80's) or hide the white trash element and it is honest to the time and place.

Gotta be a 10 for me!
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Days In The Oil Fields, Nights At Gilley's
bkoganbing9 February 2009
For Urban Cowboy John Travolta plays one of the stronger alpha males ever portrayed on the big screen. He's a decent enough young kid who leaves his parent's homestead and strikes out for the big city of Dallas where his uncle Barry Corbin has promised to find him work in the petrochemical industry. In 1980 that was beginning to boom and Texas was definitely a growing place in the USA.

Travolta does a good job in making we the audience care about his character who when you come right down to it is a sexist pig. He meets and marries Debra Winger who's from the same background, but she's got some ideas that women should not be shadows of their men. And when she beats him at Gilley's mechanical bull, a man's game, that's it for him.

Scott Glenn who's an ex-convict is working at Gilley's and this film was his breakout role. He's a real snake in Urban Cowboy, he gets Travolta's goat with a mere look and he moves in on Winger. Travolta in turn takes up with rich girl, Madolyn Smith Osborne who's slumming at Gilley's.

Despite the characters, Urban Cowboy was really one gigantic commercial for the self-styled biggest honky tonk in the world. Gilley's is no longer there in the suburban Texas community of Pasadena, but the memories do live on. And the best thing about Urban Cowboy is the wonderful score of country/western songs that were featured in the film. I'm not sure if some of the songs were not written specifically for Urban Cowboy, but it's the only reason I can think of why the Motion Picture Academy ignored the musical aspects of this film. I especially liked Johnny Lee's Looking For Love, if it was specifically written for this film, it's a disgrace that it wasn't nominated for Best Song.

I liked Debra Winger's character best in this film. She doesn't lose a trace of femininity, but she stands up to Travolta and does it in style. And this review is dedicated to that yet as unknown woman who will one day be the first woman bull-rider in the Professional Bull Riders.
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How Can You Not Like This Movie???
rkerns693811 October 2005
First let me say I am not from the south but I am an American. I don't love Country music but I can stomach it. I would never wear a cowboy hat but I wear hats. I don't live in a trailer but I do eat tuna salad and own a home. What does that have to do with this comment? A lot if you are one of those people who say only "country" people love this movie. This movie is loosely based on the "They loved and lost" premise. James Bridges directs an American love story as real as it gets. In an era of Jerry Springer and "Lets put it out there" mentality, this film rings truer than ever.

Bud is "coming of age" and embarks on a life of his own with a little help from his aunt and uncle so he moves to the big city with them. Bud finds himself drawn into the local honky tonk world for the only escape a blue collar man can afford. He quickly meets Sissy who is from a similar background and the two have a whirlwind romance filled with painful ups and downs.

(*This plot takes so many turns that one has to just sit for a few minutes before they get hooked. Marriage is a focus here that is often missed. Early in the film they marry and we view the transition from being single to married. The film highlights some of the modern struggles a woman has when she marries an old fashioned man. It also brings into view the male ego with women and competition.)

Bud is challenged and is excited when Micky's puts in an electronic bull. Sissy gets ideas of having fun on it too but is quickly reminded that she is married and need to start "acting like it." The emotion between the two characters is raw and expressive and the plot continues from there especially when they (NOTE THIS IS GIVING SOME OF THE STORYLINE AWAY) split and Sissy falls for an ex con with a penchant for abuse and cruelty. She soon realizes that the grass is not always greener on the other side.

How anyone can compare Bud to Vinnie Barbirino is shocking to me. John Travolta gave an exceptional performance that was worthy recognition. He was believable and real. The scene where he shaves his beard and you first see him at the bar..still gives me goosebumps. Mind you I am not a huge Travolta fan, but come on, I see why Sissy was kicking of her boots so early in the film. Deb Winger was so real that you found yourself sympathizing with her as she pens a note of emotions to Bud, after sneaking in to clean his house during their break up.

The supporting cast was incredible. Wes played by Scott Glenn gave a first rate performance that made you hate him and curse him as he abused Sissy. Madolyn Smith-Osborne, as Buds Mistress/girlfriend was so authentic that large chested girls across the U.S. prayed to wake up flat chested to wear the clothes she donned in the film. My biggest kudos's go to Barry Corbin and Brooke Anderson as Bud's aunt and uncle. They seemed like someone's aunt and uncle somewhere in Texas and however small their role, they made the film so much bigger and lifelike. Two memorable scenes were the Dolly Parton contest and the unforgettable scene where Bud and his aunt stand outside after one of the characters death. The dialog between them is touching.

If you can watch this for what it is, a true American love story. Then I recommend that you take it for what it is...a film before it's time that gave us voyeurism into a world unlike our own but real enough for our enjoyment and entertainment. If this world sounds similar to yours then you will enjoy it so much more. Lastly, the music however dated, is sure to send you back in time if you are over 30 years of age.
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An entertaining period piece. Travolta shines.
TOMASBBloodhound28 August 2003
This film is a classic compared to the Latham/Bridges/Travolta misfire called PERFECT which came out in 1985.

This film showcases the Houston lifestyle of the oil boom in the early 1980s. We get an insider's view of their jobs, hangouts, and relationships as Travolta and the gang live out their daily lives.

There are some excellent supporting performances here, but make no mistake: THIS IS TRAVOLTA'S SHOW! Who would have thought at the time he'd make such a credible Texan? You almost have to remind yourself this guy was one of the Sweathogs from Welcome Back Kotter. We get to see him dance, fight, ride a mechanical bull, and score with a number of hot women. What more could you ask for? I think this is his best performance to date.

The soundtrack is one of the best I've heard. You won't hear any of this crappy pop-country that is en vogue today. It's just good old fashioned music you can dance or make love to.

This film displays the downfalls of couples who get married too quickly in a very realistic manner. Bud and Sissy resemble a lot of young couples without big bank accounts who have trouble getting along.

Scott Glenn makes a terrific villain, too.

Do yourself a favor and see this one. Or see it again if it's been a while. Travolta could use a hit movie like this one right about now in his career.

9 of 10 stars

So sayeth the Hound.
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What a sound track !
caspian197812 March 2001
The music in this movie is worth renting alone. You also get John Travolta and Debra Winger in a wonderful story about bull riding, beer, and finding true love in Texas. The two kiss scenes with John and Debra are classics. The first one on the dance floor makes you want to get up and dance. The final kiss scene completes the film with a happy ending. Even if you're not a "hick" check out this film.
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Vinnie Barbarino does the Texas 2 Step
helpless_dancer27 March 2002
I bellied up to the bar expecting this to be a hot beer on a sweltering Texas day but was pleasantly surprised. After suffering through "Saturday Night Foolishness" I had no desire to see a re-make in some south Texas barnyard....and I didn't. John Revolta was good as the jealous redneck, Scott Glenn was well cast as a thuggie ex-con, and Debra Winger was, as always, a delight. *Love that woman* Plus, the soundtrack was dynamite [and this comes from a guy that can't stand the sound of country music]. A fun film all the way.
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Glory Days of The Energy City.
jwrowe316 May 2003
PERSONAL NOTE: I saw this movie in the Palms Theater, in Sugar Land Texas, in August 1980, with my high school girlfriend. The theater, and the girl, are both long gone.

Back to the review....

For those of you who grew up, or lived in and around Houston during the 70's, this is a delight to watch. I tend to endure Travolta, and that horrid "twang" he tries to do, but it's okay, the rest of the flick makes up for that!

-Minor Spoilers-

We start the movie w/Bud coming to town. Just watching him drive thru Houston, thru the 610 loop, and on to his Uncle's place is a treat. There is the Houston of "Big Oil and Big Space". When I was little, and went on vacations, if some one asked me where I was from, their next question was "Do you have a ranch, own an oil well, or know astronauts?" That was part of the joy of being from Houston, back in the old days.

But I'm rambling. The casting on URBAN COWBOY is great, not a dud in the bunch, even counting the Travolta factor. Only he could have pulled this movie off, at the time it was made. On a side note, it was common practice during the filming of "UC", for the local media to have a "Travolta Sighting" comment on the news, or in the newspapers. The biggest spotting occurred in mid 1979 at the sports arena, known at the time as "The Summit". Travolta appeared, in "the white suit" from Saturday Night Fever at a Bee Gee's concert, and hopped up on stage. No one recognized him at first, as he had grown a beard for the opening parts of the movie.

If you grew up around Houston during this long-past era, this is a "MUST OWN". My daughters always ask if I ever rode a mechanical bull when we watch it.

But I have always wondered about one small thing in this picture. And this is simply 'cause I am a car geek. Why, at the end of the movie when Bud and Sissy drive away from Gilley's, is there, parked amongst the F-150's, GMC's, Chevy Big 10's, and other pick-up trucks, a Volvo P1800 wagon? You can't miss it.
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Joseph Pintar25 January 2004
This is a great movie that I don't think gets enough credit as Saturday Night Fever or Grease in John Travolta's career. He plays a man who is in love with a girl but is too pig headed to admit his feelings to her. Instead, he wants to engage in mechanical bull riding because he thinks it will show his manhood. Even though it was made in 1980, it is still timely today. The great country music soundtrack is terrific. 10/10
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Unlikable and Immature Characters
Claudio Carvalho17 September 2016
The cowboy Bud Davis (John Travolta) moves from his homeland of Spur to Houston to work with his Uncle Bob (Narry Corbon) in a refinery. During the night, they go to the Gilley's Club where Bob introduces his nephew to his friends. Bud meets Sissy (Debra Winger) at the club and soon they fall in love with each other and get married. Sissy is an independent working girl and Bud is a male chauvinist that believes in the traditional role of the wife, cooking, ironing and making love. When Gilley's buys a mechanical bull for the clients, Bud likes to ride it and does not allow Sisy to ride. However she goes to the club in the afternoon and the ex-convict and operator of the bull Wes Hightower (Scott Glenn) teaches her how to ride. When Bud learns that Sissy lied to him, Bud becomes jealous and has a love affair with the wealthy Pam (Madolyn Smith) and Sissy goes to Wes' trailer. Along the days, they fight each other and try to make the other jealous. When Gilley's announces a mechanical bull's dispute, Bud wants to win Wes. Will he succeed?

"Urban Cowboy" is a silly film with unlikable and immature characters. Bud Davis is an unbearable character and Sissy is immature and fool. But the music score and the dances are highly entertaining. In addition, it is delightful to see Debra Winger very young. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Cowboy do Asfalto" ("Asphalt Cowboy")
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Those Tough Trailer Park Rednecks
Lechuguilla18 June 2005
An unmarried, twenty-something hick (played by John Travolta) leaves the farm and goes to Houston, where he learns about life and love in a Texas honky-tonk. At face value, it's a modern love story ... Texas style. There's gobs of cowboy hats, pickup trucks, neon beer signs, and references to big belt-buckles and rodeos. The music, if not Texas native, is Texas adapted, courtesy of the talents of Mickey Gilley, Johnny Lee, and the Charlie Daniels Band. And that Texas twang ... "y'all".

The story and the characters are about as subtle as the taste of Texas five-alarm chili made with Jalapeno peppers. It's enough to make civilized viewers abort the film in favor of a genteel classic, one starring Laurence Olivier or Ingrid Bergman, maybe. "Hamlet" it's not. But "Urban Cowboy" is spicy and explicit, and I kinda like it.

Technically, the film is generally good. The dialogue, the production design, and the costumes are all realistic; the editing is skillful. And both the casting and the acting are commendable, if not Oscar worthy. I would not have cast Travolta in the role he plays, but he does a fine job ... ditto Debra Winger. Barry Corbin and Brooke Alderson, among others, are good too, in support roles. But, the cinematography seemed weak. The film copy I watched was grainy, and at times suffered from a reddish/orange tint, a visual trait I have noticed in other films from the same time period.

At first glance, the film does not seem to offer any social or political "message". But I would argue that when "Urban Cowboy" was released twenty-five years ago, it had rather prophetic implications. In 1980 the U.S. had all kinds of problems, not the least being American hostages held by Iran. In the minds of a lot of folks back then, the U.S. was being pushed around, bullied.

This film, along with others of its time, offered something that Americans wanted to see in their political leaders ... toughness. "Urban Cowboy" is a very physical film. The characters in it may not be the brightest people on Earth. But, they're tough!

Everything about "Urban Cowboy" is anti-intellectual. As a vehicle for cultural expression then, this 1980 film was one of several that augured a new get-tough era for the U.S. It started in 1980 with the election of Reagan. And that era continues to this day, with a President who probably will not be remembered for his intellect, but will be remembered for his toughness and aggression, traits that Americans seem to gravitate to as surely as Texans to five-alarm chili.
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For the Redneck in all of us
philhodgman16 December 2011
This is a highly underrated movie. It has a decent plot, exceptional acting by John Travolta, Debra Winger, Scott Glenn, and supporting cast, and toe tapping pop country music throughout. Although the emphasis on mechanical bull riding is a little silly, the main characters are plausible in their motivations, their jealosies, and in the end, their abiding love for each other. The popularity of the movie to a wide section of America is proof that it is more than just a movie appealing "country" or "redneck" types. There's something about Debra Winger - her change of moods, her expressiveness, her vulnerability - where you just can't take your eyes off her when she is on camera. And the movie is downright fun with the Charlie Daniels Band, Travolta's Texas 2 step dancing scenes, and mechanical bull riding contests. There's no deep message to this movie, but it has a certain simple honesty about it, and it'll entertain you for its 2-hour duration.
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Classic Mechanical Bull Riding, Love Story
reel_emotion10 April 2003
Warning: Spoilers

What can I say? I'm biased when it comes to Urban Cowboy. I love it and have watched it countless times--and usually find out something new about it with each viewing.

I think one of the things I like about it is that Urban Cowboy is about working class people, not rich people who live in either L.A. or New York. Well, it is true except for Pam.

Travolta plays Bud, a small town Texas boy who moves to Houston to work in the oil fields. And this is when Travolta actually played in good dramatic movies like Saturday Night Fever instead of playing stereotypical bad guys/good guys in big budget movies. This is a really good movie--the mechanical bull riding contest and two-step dancing may be silly, but you have to enjoy this for what it is.

Bud meets Sissy (played by Debra Winger with slutty brilliance)--and soon after, they are married and living in their dream trailer. But their relationship becomes a real life battle of the sexes. Bud wants to be a real cowboy. Sissy wants to be with a real cowboy. But in modern times, men's roles are not as clear. Where can Bud prove he's a real man? He can work his dangerous job by day and ride the mechanical bull by night--he can be a "urban cowboy." But Sissy wants to drive his pick-up truck, and she wants to ride the mechanical bull, too. So where does this leave Bud? As Sissy asserts her independence, she lies about riding the bull and flirts with the ex-con and prison rodeo star--a real bull rider--, Wes (played wonderfully greasy by Scott Glenn). Bud is threatened, and Bud and Sissy break up.

Sissy shacks up with Wes, who abuses her. Emasculating himself further, Bud becomes the boy toy of Pam, a rich girl whose Daddy is in oil and all that implies. Sissy comes by the trailer to clean it up--Pam doesn't do that kind of thing. She writes a make up letter to Bud, but evil Pam tears it up and takes the credit for Sissy's housework.

Bud's Uncle Bob dies tragically at work when lightening strikes and causes an explosion. Bud and Sissy have a chance at reconciliation, but are too stubborn. Later the mechanical bull riding competition is at Gilley's, and you know Bud is going to win. Pam realizes that Bud doesn't love her, but Sissy--he did it for her. Wes tries to rob Gilleys, but wouldn't you know that urban cowboy, Bud, saves the day and wins back the woman he loves.

Of course, you may ask yourself why Bud and Sissy would go to Gilleys about every night and "live like pigs." Maybe that contributed to their bad marriage. Or why didn't Bud stay with Pam--she wasn't that bad and had money. Or why they had to kill off Uncle Bob. Or why Bud and Sissy had such stupid friends like Marshall and Jessie who were always trying to break them up: Marshall says to Bud, "She {Sissy} rides that bull better than you do!" But part of the fun of Urban Cowboy is making fun of it a little bit--and saying, isn't that Bonnie Raitt on the stage!
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In my TOP 5 movies of all time
djkeith32114 November 2005
Quick and simple, I love this movie.

As some others have mentioned, I also, am not from the south, don't really care for country music and have never worn a cowboy hat. (I've never drove around in a car with a dead body in my trunk either, but I love "Goodfellas.") This is just great film making. Shot in a 2.35 aspect ratio and beautifully transfered to DVD. (The VHS was 1.33 full screen). And yes, a solid 5.1 mix for your viewing pleasure. What can you say about this movie?

It's just a great love/hate story set in Texas, with great performances. Travolta is fantastic. Next to "Pulp Fiction", it's the best thing he's done. It's been in my top 5 for 25 years!!

Check this one out!!! It's a 10 !!!!
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1 of the best movies of all time
deidraluv29 September 2005
I just have to say, this is one of my favorite movies of all time. I cannot even count the number of times I've seen it. I was already in love with John Travolta, but the first time the camera pans up his body after he's all clean-shaven looking beautiful for his first trip to Gilley's, I was in awe. Debra Winger, as always, delivers a perfect performance as the young, naive wife of Bud, but with the necessary attitude to be married to a stubborn and hard-working cowboy. If you're not a country music person, which I wasn't, this is 1 soundtrack that'll have you singing right along with every word. If you get a chance, please see this movie-it won't disappoint.
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AWESOME movie everytime
killureyes2 June 2002
I am a true URBAN COWBOY movie fan, I own three copies of it and am awaiting the DVD. This may not be the way that LOVE really happens BUT is a fact that it comes pretty close to what happens when you meet the right person in a bar. Everytime I watch it, I seem to notice something different in the movie. I even notice mistakes in the film. I really truly want to meet the real Gator Connley, Minnie, Norman Tucker, Jesse, the fat chick you see in several scenes and oh my the big dude himself Sherwood Cryer. I get to Texas often, as I married a Texas boy. We goto Billy Bob's cant get him to goto Dallas to the new Gilley's. Cant even get him to take me to Pasadena.........but hey, I know where there is a old dodge power wagon with one of those originals Gilley's stickers on it. (just down the street)here in PA You have to see the movie TRUST ME
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renfield5430 May 1999
I did not see this film in the theater. I confess to an anti-Vinnie Barbarino bias. Who the hell was John Travolta to be making movies? I remember the Oscar broadcast that year, with Travolta looking absolutely devastated when he didn't win. How dare he, when there were "real" actors in the running? I'm sorry John, you should have won. After catching this film on cable years ago, I fell in love with the entire movie. Bud, Sissy, Uncle Bob, Wes, all wonderfully done. I, also, confess to never passing it by when I channel surf. I HAVE to stop and watch. Over the years, I've learned to do most of the dialogue, dance with my thumbs in my waistband, and learned to appreciate Travolta more. The only disappointing thing to me was the oversight, on the soundtrack, of some of the music from Urban Cowboy. "Looking for love" defines the film, but Urban Cowboy was chock full of classics that DIDN'T make it to the soundtrack. It should have been a double CD........
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entertaining, to say the least
mattkratz27 December 2000
I kind of enjoyed this movie. It would help if you are a fan of country music, honky tonks, drama, rodeo, and/or John Travolta. It helped spawn the Urban Cowboy movement of the early 1980's, and there was actually a plot! If you see it, you might like it. Travolta gives a pretty good performance.

** 1/2 out of ****
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urban boredom...
mcfly-3119 September 2010
I'm sure this film is gospel to several East Texans, but for us city folk, it's just a wholly meandering slog of a movie. I sort of liked how a studio took a chance to show how "the other half lives," complete with country-western bars, trailer life, cheatin', beatin', and cussin'. But as a feature-length film, it was just one, giant void. For these people's lives to revolve around such trivial, blank issues was too much to take. The mechanical bull loses its charm after the third go 'round, and to find out that they were going to use it for the finale's plot device?? Boy, this really is small town life.

Though chronically dull, it at least tackles the elements of domestic violence --- from both the villain's *and* the hero's perspectives. The cast was fine, nothing' wrong with them. Their material was just vacant. And the time line is an utter mess for all this crap to have transpired (dated a week, married a week, cheating within a week! Please). The only thing remotely valuable to come from this film was the beautiful Boz Skaggs ballad, "Love Look What You've Done To Me." There's a mess a' other country hits, as well, that at least help keep uninterested viewers awake. As far as the flick, I found *one* original moment, and that didn't happen until the last reel, involving Glenn and a gun.

Again, if you grew up around this lifestyle, you might feel it speak to you more. But 'round these parts, this pretty much need to be takin' out back and shot.
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This movie is one of my favorites!
sfelix4 September 2001
There are some movies a person can watch over and over again without getting tired of it. This is one of those movies for me. I'll start with the soundtrack. The music is a huge part of the movie's success. You have some of the best artists of all time together on one CD, what more could you ask for?

The acting is superb, as well as the overall storyline. Some people aren't able to look past the fact that Bud and Sissy live in a trailer park. At that time in Texas that was a completely accepted way of life. To me it's all about learning a life lesson. Some of the one liners are way too funny. My personal fav is the one where Sissy says "You're not my daddy, you can't tell me what to do." My father spent a lot of time in Gilley's in the early 80's and he has said the bar was portrayed accurately.

It's a classic, if it was a bad movie it wouldn't have been so popular.
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Best Documentary I have ever seen.
chets80810 August 2000
How can anyone argue the fact that Urban Cowboy was, and still is, the best document of Texas life for the time period. Consider the following: men beat their wives, get drunk at bars nightly, get married to settle a fight, commit adultery, and compete on mechanical bulls. Try and name a movie that depicts real life so vividly. They dont make them anymore. It seems current films are always about people with lots of money, they live in huge homes, drive expensive cars and don't work. This movie has a celebration scene about getting a trailer for pete's sake !

Anyway, I watch it at least once a week. No kidding. I have dissected this movie from end to end. feel free to email me to learn more about my reason for calling it a documentary. Consider the following scenes: Bud sees Sissy - they are split up - he amicably honks and waves, she flips him the bird - he returns half the peace sign honking his horn to add impact then tears off.

Buds mom calls him approx. 18 hours after he gets into town, on a Sunday, to see if he has a job yet - all he has accomplished is getting drunk and laid(x2), with help from his uncle and aunt who cover for him.

"You all live like pigs" Think about why this scene is needed. Think about it. Was it necessary ? Could we not figure it out without showing the filthy sink ? God I love that !

Sissy allows Wes to help her ride the bull. Only a few days (or possibly the next day) after Wes just kicked the crap out of her husband. Steve asks - Hey Sissy, remember Wes ? Oh yeah, didnt you beat my husband up the other night, so let's get this lesson goin', to make no mention of the fact that she seeks solace in him later during one Bud and Sissy's many fights, which by the way all take place in public - in Gilley's !

The Wedding reception picture taking session (oh the humanity !) could they at least arrange or move the chairs out of the way. "My legs are sweatin' momma"

In conclusion, you don't put scenes like this in a movie to try and show insight into human psychology. It is a documentary of real life.

I only wish there was a director's cut....
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Urban Cowboy was realistic...
mysticspiral0022 January 2005
While Urban Cowboy did not ooze with the same testosterone you might find at a rodeo, it did provide an accurate glimpse of that day and age, in urban Texas. I also think that to truly critique this movie, one would have to have lived in the time and relative place that it was made. There was good music, fun times and, yes, a few "rough and tumbles" at the honky tonk roadhouses. The relationship of Bud and Sissy, like "two ships passing in the night", was well conceived. When Pam tore up the note that Sissy had written to Bud, it echoed the tragedy of many true life romances. The entire story was well thought out. I thought the cast and crew did an excellent job. I thought the screen play was well written and directed. Scott Glenn should have received an Oscar for best supporting actor.
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Brings Back Memories
ridgerunner721605 February 2006
I was 20 years old when Urban Cowboy came out. It was so good to see a movie that was filmed in my section of the country. I'm from southwest Louisiana, about 130 miles west of Houston. I can remember when mechanical bulls and the whole cowboy genre were popular at the same time this movie came out. I've seen a lot of comments bashing blue collar lower income whites in the posts here because of the way both Bud and Wes treat Sissy and because of the simple fact that they live in a mobile home. I wonder if these same morons are bright enough to realize that the urban gangsta fad that is so popular today is much worse than any of the characters depicted in this movie. Bud, Wes, Sissy and company may not be saints but at least they're not gangbanging, drug dealing, murderous goons living off the taxpayers in some project, and the music is country....not the rap/hip-hop garbage we're subjected to so much of these days. What a shame that the Urban Cowboy society of 25 years ago is now just the urban society.
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Cynical "Saturday Night Fever" retread...with cowboy hats
moonspinner5516 May 2004
John Travolta applies a credible, bitter intensity to his role as Bud, unworldly kid who moves to Houston to live with relatives and work at a nearby plant, eventually discovering Gilley's Bar, country music, and a high-spirited local gal (Debra Winger) whom he marries. So much of this sophomoric drama seems familiar, and indeed the structure of the film (with Travolta coming of age--after doing some dancing at Gilley's, of course) comes off like "Saturday Night Fever" in western-dress. Still, as much as I disliked the stereotyped Brooklyn hard-boys in "Fever", with their hyped-up talk and trashy mouths, the characters in this picture are much more clichéd. Poor Scott Glenn gets the worst of it: first he's a rodeo rider from the prison, then he's working at Gilley's, then he's with Winger, then he's a woman-beater, then he's planning a heist...any one of these bad attributes would be enough, yet nobody seems to notice that Glenn's character is simply a "plot function". Winger shines in spots, and she's a hard worker, but one tires of her stridency and volatility; in the last act, when she's called upon to be victimized, she loses some of her radiance and we wish for that stridency back. The other performers get stuck with stock characters and the bar-scenes lack vitality, as does the soundtrack which is chock full of glossy country-fied pop. Near the finale, when Travolta and his uncle are called to the plant at night during a lightning storm, the viewer is ten miles ahead of the screenwriter. It's movies like this that sunk Travolta's career for years. ** from ****
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So bad, it's good
leighpc27 January 2008
This movie is SO bad, it's good. It's like a train wreck -- you know it's awful but you just can't look away. However, I cringe when I see people here call this thing "the classic American love story." Since these two lovebirds, Bud and Cissy, spend most of the movie arguing and fighting with each other and Bud also being physically violent with Cissy and other people, what does this "classic American love story" really have to say about American love relationships? Not much that is good! Apparently, in Texas all disputes must come to blows. I cannot image these two characters living happily ever after. The next fight is probably always just around the corner for these two. Oh, and the soundtrack...what a piece of redneck Americana. Yeeehaaww!
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Did John just take Tony from Saturday Night Fever and turn him into a cowboy?
Kristine12 October 2006
I always passed up at Best Buy the John Travolta collection, it had Grease, Saturday Night Fever, and Urban Cowboy. Saw the first two, but never Urban Cowboy, but my mom just picked it up in a $5.00 bin and I'd figure to give it a chance. Since it seems like it was such a big hit for him. Urban Cowboy is kind of a fun movie, but what I wouldn't call a great film.

It's about a cowboy named Bud, well, turned into a cowboy. He's come down to Texas to work with his uncle. But he ends up meeting a sassy young beautiful girl, Sissy. They hit it off and get married, but end up finding out how different they are and not to mention Bud kind of takes Sissy for granted and treats her badly, in my opinion. They meet two other people, Wes, a cocky cowboy intending to take Bud's bull riding champion title away from him, and Pam, a city girl who is interested in getting herself a cowboy. But can these two just swallow their pride and admit that their "good" together?

Over all, Urban Cowboy is a memorable film for John Travolta and I can see why he was such a heart throb in his day. He was tough and not to mention very hot looking, him and Debra did make a cute connection through the film. Like I said though, I had little problems, mostly with the way the women are treated, but I know it was a movie. Over all, a fun one, so I'll be nice.

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